Julio Velazquez-Elder Tyler Blanchard
Po. Box 1486
Presidio, TX 79845

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 11 (Anáhuac, Mexico)

Things have been going well, it has been a bit tough because a lot of the people are not ever in their homes or they are too busy at the time to hear our message and our area is big so we spend a lot of time walking from house to house. I have gotten a crazy tan because we are in the sun so much. I have a line on my neck where my collar always is and my watch has left its mark too.

This last week we baptized a little girl named Alejandra and it is crazy how much their family has changed. Her parents were less actives but now they come every week and they are all so happy.

My shoes are still in perfect condition no problems, they just get really dirty during the week but when I shine them Sunday morning they look brand new.

Luckily I didn't get transferred, my companion didn't either. Elder McGavin and his companion got transferred and it is sad to see them go, but hopefully the new missionaries will be good.

I am so lucky to have hot water and I am so happy that I don't have to worry about that. We would have to wring out our laundry and hang it up to dry but we decided it is easier to pay like 3 or 4 bucks to get it done at a laundromat which is so much faster and easier. 

I think we do get to see Meet the Mormons, I have no idea how or when but we got an email from the mission office about it so I guess we will find out soon.

It sounds like you guys have been eating a lot of Mexican food lately haha. The Mexican food here is great but when they try and do an American thing it is not so great. I haven't been too fond of the spaghetti but its edible, and the mayonnaise they don't use it very often but when they do they use tons of it. But if I don't like something I usually just put tons of beans and rice on it.

We can only have like four tortillas but that one is only if there is a lot of other food if not we can have all that we want. And we can have cold cereal for breakfast just no cereal with sugar. I had cornflakes at first and I just threw in a banana and it was really good. And this week I tried another cereal like honey bunch of oats but with cranberries that was really good. The one that sucks is that we can only eat sugar between 11am and 7pm which sucks because at night I just want to eat the chocolate. There are a bunch of weird rules I will have to send you a picture of the list we got.

Love Elder Blanchard

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week 10 (Anáhuac, Mexico)

This week went well. Most of the time people were not in their houses or too busy for us, but there is a little ten year old girl named Alejandra that is excited to be baptized on Saturday. I could baptize her but I decided not to because there is a rule that you only get one or two baptisms in your area and I would like to baptize someone I know a bit better I just haven't known the language enough to get to know her that well. They have this rule because they want the members to  fellowship the recent converts and having them baptize the person just adds one more friend for them to fall back on. Luz and Manuel are the ones like Abuelita and Abuelito, they didn't have any desire at all before but now they are warming up to the idea of being baptized.

I haven't really had difficult times or been too frustrated it is tough to do because I am just kind of lost in the work I guess or maybe it is just too early. But I have been really enjoying it.

Attitude does play a big role in missionary work. Luckily I am surrounded by positive people who are always looking to  uplift and help others. I got the giant package of goodies this week and that has added to the happiness, there was so much food.

We don't really do much on p-days, there aren't many sites to see here in Anáhuac, and not a lot of time. We usually wake up study, clean, shower, then take our clothes to Cuauhtémoc to be washed, we go to the bank, go to write, eat at subway, and go to any stores we need (clothes, food etc,) after this we go to the church where we have district meetings. in the meetings we role play and are taught lessons from preach my gospel. And after we help clean the church.

We don't really have a lot of time because the mission presidents cut down the p day time it ends at four instead of the time everywhere else in the world. It isn't that big of a deal to me we get everything done that we need to, and I have heard that other missionaries in other areas do hikes every once and a while. And it's hard because our clothes and stuff are in Anáhuac a half an hour away, and we wouldn't have a place to shower or anything which would be uncomfortable because we have meetings after.

Thank you for the package. I really like the ties that you sent me thanks, and wow there is so much candy haha thanks. I was able to pick it up on Tuesday but I don't know when it arrived at the mission home probably a bit earlier but I don't know.

 Sunday was the same as last week it was good. I didn't understand a lot but it was good. we do have Sunday dinners, it switched off between the bishop and one of his councilors. Yesterday we ate breaded chicken legs, beans, and spaghetti.

We eat a lot of meat and its really good but there's nothing like a good steak. But I can't complain with the food. Lots of chicken and potatoes covered in spicy sauces. Luckily the food hasn't been too picante. I am able to eat it all with ease. The beans and juice help take the spiciness down a notch too so that is good. I have eaten a lot of spaghetti here, which is surprising, they have some different red sauce but it is still good.

The weather has been pretty good here too, a bit hot at times but it is cooling down. It is really sunny and at the beginning of this week I noticed the tan lines on my neck and arms, a perfect like on my neck haha. I miss the colors of the leaves of fall, here they are green which is good but it's nothing like the colors of home.

We were able to kind of fix our bikes, well for now. We just filled his tire with air at a gas station and we return every time it gets low. We have tried taking it to the bike repairing guys house but he hasn't been home for a while. I need to fix my bike up too because it is stuck on a low gear and I have to pedal a ton without moving very much or very fast.

Transfers haven't happened yet I don't think they will happen for a couple of weeks but I am almost positive that I will not move, and most people with me won't change either only a few will be transferred.

 This is my district: (Top Left) Elder Garcias from Salt Lake City, Elder Maldonado, me, Elder Ante  (bottom right) Sister Cohou ,Sister Hurst.

Today after I write we are going to head to the store and look for sweaters and jackets and ties, and I will probably buy a jump rope to stay fit, and some more flip flops. We have been browsing around and the prices for good quality clothes actually aren't too bad.

I will have to check out that restaurant when I get back because I will probably be missing the Mexican food. On one of the p-days we want to try and go to the elders in our districts apartment where they will teach us how to make some bread, using a recipe that they learned from a member. They brought the bread to an activity and it was really good and they say it is easy to make.

We always try to leave with a spiritual thought and a scripture. We usually switch off doing it. I usually share Alma 26:12 and I would talk a bit about how I needed god to help me learn the language and that I couldn't rely on myself. But now we are overlapping on families so I will have to find new scriptures to share. It is  good to do this because it helps my Spanish and also leaves the family with some good thoughts.

It is crazy how we take it for granted all of the temples next to our house. Here they bake food during young mens and young womens that they sell to make money to take a trip to the temple.

Thanks for all of the support back home hope you guys have a good week.

Love  Elder Blanchard

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Week 9 (Anáhuac, Mexico)

My mission has been going really well, I am learning a lot and learning fast. This week has flown by for me as well, I can't believe how fast the time has been flying.

The food here is amazing and there is always so much. It is hard not to just keep getting more. There are a few members that make great food every time.  It is hard to describe what I am eating a lot of the time, and it looks strange at first but it always turns out to be pretty good. 

I'm going to start asking people during lunch about their conversion stories, and maybe I will understand enough to recognize important things in their stories, haha. You are right, it isn't important what is said only that something is said and how it makes you feel. This week we had around 26 contacts, or people we met on the street and received addresses from and I started them all. It has been good because usually I don't say much or anything at all in street contacts. This week we tried to talk with everyone we saw, it is not only good for getting new investigators but also for improving my Spanish.

I usually start with something like hello, how are you? We are missionaries, my name is Elder Blanchard, and this is my companion. what is your name? Something like that.  In the MTC on the day before we left we had a big long class and the teacher said that if he was on a bus and there was someone to talk to, in order to break the ice he would say: "So you are here on a bus." Or, "So, you are walking your dog." He said it always worked and started a conversation.

D&C 62:3:  Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you.

That scripture is really cool, I like it a lot thanks for sharing. I remember hearing in the MTC that if someone rejects our message it is ok because we have planted a seed that can grow within the person and prepare them for another set of missionaries.

I am able to feel the spirit in my life. Especially in the beginning I was not able to understand much (during lessons with investigators, or lessons given to us by Pres. Chavez, or sacrament meeting) all that I could do was sit there and soak in the spirit, kind of marinate in it I guess. it has been a great opportunity.

Thanks for sending the pictures it was really cool to get to see everyone. Glad to see you guys are still running. I am so out of shape here, we have to run sometimes to get back to our apartment on time, in order to not break the rules. I am fine for the first part but I am exhausted after. I can jog at a nice pace for quite a while. We got bikes so that has helped me get in shape a bit, but the tire of my companions bike popped last week and we have only been able to use a couple of times.  I had to work real hard to keep up because my gears sucked and were stuck on a really low setting.

The Mexican people are really nice, they always listen to what we have to say even if they are not interested, and they always wave to you. I couldn't remember the name of my little city or the main city next to it either. It is: a-now-walk (anahuac my area) and c-wow-tey-moc (cuauhtemoc city next to us). The names of the people are impossible to remember for me, haha. They sound nothing like anything I have ever heard, and they are way long.                                                                          
Love Elder Blanchard